(Sorry for a long post - posting this both to ask some questions, and to clear my mind a bit.)
Back in 2010 I was a healthy 40 year old active Masters cyclist who finished several ultra races up to 540 km. I was never very fast but I had pretty decent endurance. I was active in a local club and all my friends were cyclists. My life was all about cycling.
Then I got ill with Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder Pain Syndrome) and in 2013 I had to stop cycling due to pain and other complications. It was the start of a long and difficult journey which ended with surgery in December 2018 when they took out my bladder and made a subsitute from 54cm of ileal gut.
Since the surgery I have struggled to come back to regular exercise. Whenever I take up training I end up having to abandon it due to various causes like muscle pain, lower back issues, extreme tiredness etc.
After many visits to the doctor I am now being checked for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Autonomous Dysfuction.
I turned 50 in November and this winter I am trying to start from scratch at 140W FTP. I am at the end of week 4 of the 6 wk beginner FTP training program. This is a 6 week program of 50-70 minute workouts aimed to increase FTP.
But I am really struggling hard with fatigue issues. Some days workouts go well, other days I am struggling through the entire workout and just want to stop it. I still have a bit of HTFU mentality left in me so I try to endure, although I do skip some intervals now and then. I sometimes try to up the Bias til 110% but that usually turns out to be too much. I’m having a hard enough time just managing to pedal at 90-100 strokes around 110W…and if I try to raise my FTP it becomes too hard for me.
I don’t really worry about the FTP in itself since it’s just a number.
However, the problem is that it seems that even this exercise is too much for me. Some days I simply don’t function after the workout and it’s a struggle just to sit upright on the sofa and watch TV. Eventually I might and up lying on my bed just to avoid sitting up. I feel powerless. I also get some post-exercise pain (one night I woke up with severe pain in both thighs and could not get rid of it).
I find that these past 4 weeks have been good in the sense that I feel more active and the regular exercise lighten up my days (especially with Covid-19 forcing us to stay home most of the time).
But I need help with finding out how to exercise.
I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should focus on shorter workouts. I could try to do just 30 minute workouts for a while. In my experience spinning exercises shorter than about 50 minutes are not really helpful. But it’s better than nothing…
Is there anyone here with similar issues or experiences? I really need some advice.